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New Westminster schools closing Monday for Queen's funeral

Public-sector workers will get Sept. 19 off, but private-sector employees may not.
Classrooms in New Westminster schools will remain empty on Monday, Sept. 19 as British Columbia public schools close in recognition of Canada's day of mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

New Westminster families will need to find child care for Monday, as the B.C. government announced the closure of all K-12 public schools in the province.

Monday, Sept. 19 has been declared an official national day of mourning, recognizing the funeral ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96. 

School District 40 superintendent Karim Hachlaf, in a letter to families Tuesday afternoon, confirmed all schools will be closed for the day, in line with provincial directive.

"We recognize that any school closure can impact families, which is why we wanted to inform you as early as possible," Hachlaf wrote. "We thank you for your understanding."

Premier John Horgan, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, said the B.C. government is following the lead of the federal government in declaring the holiday.

"We have advised provincial public-sector employers to honour this day in recognition of the obligations around federal holidays in the vast majority of provincial collective agreements," he said.

The day off, however, is not a statutory holiday, so it does not apply to private-sector employers.

"We encourage private-sector employers to find a way to recognize or reflect on the day in a way that is appropriate for their employees,"  Horgan said.

Public post-secondary institutions will also close on Monday.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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